The final hours leading up to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy were full of chaos. Anticipation and uncertainty of what was to come kept Lehigh's campus abuzz into the early hours of that Monday morning. Some students were in a complete panic while others chose to stay positive and hope that the storm would blow over. Despite this preliminary worry, I don't think anyone expected Sandy's wrath to reach the extent that it unfortunately did.
It has been nearly a month since Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast and the evidence of her still haunts. My small town in New Jersey was not overlooked by her fury and I was completely taken aback by the still-visible damage around town. My mom had described the destruction to me over the phone, but hearing about the fallen trees and frayed telephone wires was very different than seeing it with my own eyes. It amazes me that people are still coping from the aftermath of the storm. I have never witnessed anything like this tragedy in my hometown before, and knowing that other places in surrounding areas were affected even worse is a horrible realization.
During my family's Thanksgiving dinner my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins shared stories of their encounters with Sandy. My own home was powerless for over a week and was narrowly missed by a a fallen oak tree in my neighbor's yard. My grandparents in Mountainside, NJ were without power for seventeen days. My aunt's summer home in Long Beach Island was flooded. Friends of my cousin were nearly killed when a tree split their home in half. It's the stories like these that make this natural disaster feel real.
Everyone knows someone who was affected by the storm. Even if one was not directly impacted by the storm, people's daily lives changed for a period of time. Grocery stores closed, offices shut down for days and children were out of school for weeks. The gas rationing that was going on in New York and New Jersey proves the severity of the situation. No one was left unscathed by Sandy, and being that Lehigh was in Sandy's path, this campus is very aware of the strife families are feeling this holiday season. Now more than ever, this community needs to come together to support those who were not as lucky during the hurricane. Please consider donating to help Sandy's victims. Every bit counts!
#COMM30Sandy is an online class project for the Media & Society class at Lehigh University, taught by professor Jeremy Littau. You can donate to our campaign at this link, and for more infomation you can email Prof. Littau at jeremy.littau(at)lehigh.edu.